Southwest Florida mom easing the baby formula shortage

Published: May 13, 2022 5:44 PM EDT
Updated: May 14, 2022 11:40 AM EDT

Families are scrambling to find formula to feed their children as a shortage intensifies.

The shelves are so empty that the White House is considering using the Defense Production Act to increase supplies.

Moms everywhere worry they can’t find the formula they need to feed their babies.

“Sometimes, like I said, you’ll find that one lone container. And if you’re brave enough to grab that and introduce it to your baby, go for it. If not, it is scary,” said Diane Mazzola.

Mazzola’s baby was born a premie so she doesn’t produce enough milk to feed him.

She said getting the right formula is tough.

Most formula online is out of stock.

For those moms who can’t find the right brand, a Lee Health pediatrician said some moms should consider sharing.

“Kind of the old days of like wet nursing. So if you knew another mom breastfeeding, or a new another breast supply, breast milk supply, those kinds of things, that that had been done for many years,” said Dr. Phillip Mote, of Lee Health.

If Mazzola can’t find formula, she said her plan is to purchase donor milk.

“It is an option for all moms. The problem is, is there are a few people who do donate breast milk. Not many, most of them sell it and it is expensive,” Mazzola said.

Some women who are breastfeeding are willing to help moms in Southwest Florida impacted by the baby formula shortage.

Not all formula works for all babies with factors like health and age playing a role. While there is some formula for sale at Walmart on Colonial and Six-Mile Cypress. There is a mom who has a lot of breast milk to share.

Jordan Paul, the mom of three-year-old and eight-month-old girls, breastfeeds both. She says she produces an extra 15 to 20 ounces of milk per day. She saves the extra milk she pumps in her freezer for mothers who can’t find the formula they need for their little ones.

“It’s broken my heart to know that moms are struggling and not being able to feed their babies,” Paul says. “So it just I was just prompted to say if any women need or know of another woman in need of breast milk because they’re not able to obtain the formula, then I’d be happy to give my extra or wet nurse or pumped for someone, whatever they need.”

Jordan Paul is part of a group called Mindful Mamas and the milk she donates is free. To learn more about these milk donations, you can join the Facebook group Mindful Mamas.